Friday, 14 March 2014

Wheels and Tyres and swapping to 24 spline.

This one has been a real pondering point for me in the fact that I did like the original wheels that came on Rusty, they were an aftermarket Compomotive alloy wheel with a 15" rim as you can see here.

I also liked the very wide array of tyres available for the 15" rim for future fitting, but the thing with this car is it came with two almost new front tyres, General Grabber AT2 in 235/75 15 size, all I actually wanted to do was to get another 2 of these to replace the racing slicks on the back and a spare wheel to match the road wheels,  General Grabber had already replaced the AT2 with the new and improved(read as much more road biased) AT3, meaning that only certain sizes are available as old stock is used up, the size I needed was not to be found in Europe but available in America, bit prohibitive with the shipping costs so bang goes that idea.

My initial reaction after that was to just take a whole set and replace them all, my only niggle being a personal one about the spare issue, the spare was still an original Discovery steel wheel in 16" rim size, so now my head is really thumping due to months of struggling and searching I was unable to find either new or second hand the correct Compomotive wheel for a spare, I searched globally and placed adds on many forums asking for 1 or a complete set to get what I wanted and after searching for almost 6months I stopped with that idea and decided to sell the Compomotives and to use a set of Land Rover Deep Dish alloys in silver that I already had sitting for sale for as long as I had been searching for a spare to match the Compomotives, so new plan hatched!!

And these are the replacement wheels and tyres against the old ones.

Little bit bigger aren't they!!!

This is where it gets interesting, or depressing, depends on your point of view I suppose?

You tend to learn a lot about things fast when you decide to make changes and upgrades, this is one of them moments when I learned something very new to me!!

Rusty is from 1992 and in that era the drive train was a 10 spline arrangement, now these wheels actually came off a 1998 Discovery and in that era, Land Rover had progressed and moved over to 24 spline with a different front half shaft and drive member arrangement, the older 10 spline hardware sees the drive member as part of the half shaft, it looks like this.

These earlier drive flanges as much thicker than the later type and this is where I had a new problem.

I either had to fit spacers to the wheels to clear the drive members or swap over to the later 24 spline hardware?

Guess what happened there then.

I already had a front and rear axle complete from the later vehicle and decided to swap in entirety the back axle.

Old one out and new one in.

And with the wheels on the back axle all done bar the brakes.

The front axle was a little bit more involving as the donor front axle was from a RHD vehicle and this is a LHD vehicle meaning the steering swivel housing would be on the wrong side if I swapped the entire front axle so I had to do a nut and bolt swap there, and there are a lot of differences between the 10 and 24 spline axles apart from the actual axle casing!

First up was the removal of the half shafts, hubs and stub axles from both sides before the differential could be removed.

The swap requires the stub axle, hub and drive flanges from the 24 spline axle or new parts if you do not have a donor, the 10 spline hubs and stubs are actually better if you intend on running wide offset rims and wide tyres as there is a wider bearing spacing to accommodate the extra side loading, I was staying within a normal tyre and rim width so found it of no consequence to have narrower bearing spacing.

Fit the differential and then the rest can be rebuilt, the only trouble I found here was that the middle 4 studs were too short as the diff housings are different, so diff back out and replace the short studs with longer ones.

I was sure to help the new studs bite into the casing prior to fitting the diff as I didn't want to be having to remove it again due to one of the studs spinning so vice grips and a couple of old nuts to the rescue.

With the differential now in I could fit the shafts and CV joints and prep to fit the stubs and hubs back on.

The finished article looked much like this.

Then came another problem, the little rubber cap that covers the half shaft securing circlip and shims is great at holding back the grease but not good for holding back EP90 oil!

Earlier 10 spline axles had oil lubricated wheel bearings and the later 24 spline had moved over to oil seals in the stub axles and greased wheel bearings, I prefer oil lubed bearings based on good past experiences and circumvented the oil seal to allow the lubrication of the wheel bearing and to ensure that the drive member and half shaft did not run dry and corrode causing premature failure.

I wound up needing these.

A heavy duty drive flange with a screw on dust cover, these required just a few wraps of PTFE tape to make them oil tight.

The last bit of the drive train upgrade was the front prop shaft, stay with tubular original or go with the solid bar type from a V8 with catalytic converters?

Solid bar type of course, the V8 prop ran a wider angle universal joint as standard, happy days and it was in better condition too!!!

All done and this is Rusty sitting up on all 4 new wheels and tyres.

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